The Changing face of Conflict (opinion)

Starlink User Terminals

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk yesterday warned that Starlink user terminals in Ukraine could be targeted by Russia and advised users to take precautions. “Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so the probability of being targeted is high. Please use with caution,” Musk tweeted.


It’s a USAF Concept that employs JDAMs against enemy shipping….more here. Satellite targeting would be effective in this scenario, but the question of how they would last in a war where Quicksink options are being used is always at the forefront. Finding the target and deciding how best to get to the target was the theme of Mahan’s concept of controlling chokepoints. Putting this strategy into effect in chokepoints would seem to be the point.


LL- Opinion

The Poles will supply their 30 MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine, backfilled by US F-16 Falcons. The USAF operates 1,245 F-16s with 701 in active squadrons, 490 with Air National Guard squadrons, and 54 with reserve squadrons. The 30 aircraft required doesn’t degrade. the USAF significantly IMHO. The Russians have 300 aircraft of all types available for use in Ukraine.

The question of how much this irks the Russians is a different one, but arming the Poles is always a good idea. (Virtual Mirage is very much pro-Poland) Who will fly the MiGs?  There are Ukrainian pilots and nobody ruled out mercenary pilots who volunteer to engage the Russians over Ukraine. The Russians flew MiGs against the USA in the skies over Vietnam…

A Youtube Map – h/t Claudio

Russian Heavy Equipment Losses in Ukraine.



  1. They have certainly uglified the F-16. NATO helping the Ukrainians in this manner seems guaranteed to cause “some small thing in the Balkans” and off we go. Of course this may be the plan.
    There was a quote on Taxicab Depressions called “The Pig Trap” that summed it up nicely;
    “These people are playing with matches… I don’t think they understand the scope and scale of the wildfire they are flirting with. They are fucking around with a civil war that could last a decade and cause millions of deaths… and the sad truth is that 95% of the problems we have in this country could be solved tomorrow, by noon… simply by dragging 100 people out in the street and shooting them in the fucking head.”

      • Six, seven decades ago it was probably a few thousand. But their poison has spread through society in that time, like mold creeping through bread. Now the number of people who have internalized their hatred, paranoia and revenge fantasies is in the tens of millions at a minimum.

        What is so insidious is that the worst of these people have sold, to society at large, the tale that they are The Real Victims. This somehow not only excuses but justifies everything they do. The really bad part is that its NOT a scam. Many of them truly believe they are powerless victims, eternally only hours away from being rounded up and put into railcars, or lynched; pick your victimhood narrative. As I’ve noted before, people living under constant paranoia are hyperstimulated (in a fight or flight state with elevated stress hormones) and literally “not in their right minds.” Men who perceive themselves as helpless victims are the most cruel and unrelenting of masters. Which is the situation we have today.

        • If you take out, not the top 100, but the 100 that actually do all the crap, then the thousands of minions will be lost and without a voice sitting on their shoulder saying “breathe in, breathe out, screw the Constitution.”

          Not Pelosi, but whomever is running Pelosi. Not Biden and the Ho, but the power behind Biden and the Ho.

          It’s like how to kill a manufacturing company. For the most part, management is interchangeable, but that one guy in the tool room, get him gone and the company folds. (Surprisingly, most manufacturing firms that die do it by suicide by firing or laying off the most important people.)

          Same same with Washington. Whack the powers behind the scene, whack the paymasters and the drones and mouthpieces will wither on the vine.

          Start with the Hungarian camp-guard himself, and his acolytes, all 10 or so of them, and that would stop about 60% of this crap.

          • I would like to believe that it’s a small cabal, that if we could hang them America would be restored.

            But I’m with Mike C. By the time we were done killing 100 million people, we would have killed the dream of America just as surely as they already have.


        • The quote is from a 2014 essay called “The Pig Trap” on The whole essay is really worth reading, the suggested cure is still valid as the same people are behind the problem.

      • As a decent person and Christian you hate to get to this point. But these clowns push your back up against a wall then never let up. It’s past time to come out swinging on all the destructive weasels.

        Look at The Convoy, basically Biden and Handlers deflated the effect by announcing Covid is “magically over”, but the damage was already done. Playing catch up ball is not the best strategy. The question for me is: Can anything be done about them?

        • More to the point, I believe the Washington Weasel’s (sounds like a pro ball team) were scared you-know-what about The Convoy and made yet another cowardly move to keep themselves from looking bad if they had to “manage” the truckers demands.

  2. The Russians flew MiGs against the USA in the skies over Korea, too. Of course, we were doing reconnaissance flights over the USSR before, during and after that, so…..

    • You could argue that a reconnaissance flight was not equivalent to flying in combat. But the reds eclipsed that, so here we are.

      • I’ve been reading Clay Blair’s book on Korea. Woofta. If half what he says went on really did went on, jeeze what a cluster-foxtrot.

          • Was still a goat rodeo after the cease-fire, according to my dad. Some of the stories he told about not-firing on a not-Russian piloted not-Mig over not-South Korea were, shall we say, very informative. Not-artillery strikes not-happening yada yada goat rodeo.

          • The Korean War Memorial considers 30 days continuous or 60 days non-continuous days in South Korea as meeting veteran status of the endless war.

            And we still lose random personnel from that war. Nobody gets shot or stabbed or captured, nope, nobody, surely, no body at all… Uh huh.

  3. A quick death is a privilege they do not deserve but sometimes you just have to get things done and move on.

  4. If you told me to use a chainsaw with caution I would understand and could do so. How does one use Starlink with caution? Only while driving around real fast? Turn it off every two minutes?

    • The Russians may be able to track Starlink receivers because they transpond, but it would be a laborious task. Maybe someday, but today they have bigger problems. Kamala is there leading the Western alliance. Everyone knows that she’s a genius.

    • Our dinky Starlink dish is behind the house on a rise where you can’t see it short of a low-flying helo. As for the URL location concern, Musk was offering caution but certainly has tech in place to avoid hacking. Besides, the Russkies are busy getting their tanks and transport vehicles unmired from sticky Ukrainian muck.

      I’m a third Polish (German, Hungarian, Czech, and Scots-Irish round the other major ancestral players)…hard-headed doesn’t begin to describe our tenacity when it comes to fixating on a target, whether a stubborn fence post or some invading army. Grandad was a sweet man but “strong like bull”.

    • Here’s what Musk recommended.

      Use a long long cable between dish and user.

      Use in short bursts.

      Use thin camo covers over the dish and cables.

      Seriously, it’s what he recommends. Which, of course, is basic comm security.

      He didn’t mention transmit and move, transmit and move, but…

      • He did set it up so that it can be used on the move, though.

        I really love about half the stuff that guy does.


      • The proprietary cable is 100ft (3/8″ dia.) and cannot be lengthened. Most people bolt the 18″ dia. dish to their roofline as this provides an unobstructed sky view and easier cable routing. Short of in the middle of a green lawn, stick it close to the ground, balcony, or flat roof, and it mostly disappears.

        I’m not convinced the closed Sat-User link can be accurately located via “signal”, thinking it would require hacking into the Sat, which sometimes changes throughout the day as Starlink sees fit. Might not be worth the time for a few nits. Cell is probably more direct.

  5. LL,
    A bit of the subject but I have a question. I saw in various spots today news of a possible wheat shortage, especially since the Ukraine area produces about roughly 1/3 of the worlds wheat crops per the report (sounds high to me).

    If memory serves and of course we know the schools don’t teach anymore, we were told the Ukraine was the bread basket of area. By any chance, oil and what not aside, could some of this be Russia wanting control of those crops? Seems to me I’ve read that they still have shortages up there and have had for quite sometime

  6. The Poles has quashed the F16 deal from what I’ve read. Understandably, transitioning to a completely new aircraft training, maintenance, and logistics system when they might be pulled into a fight would be a bad idea. Even leaving aside Russia may see it as a provocation.

    joetote, I’m not LL but that area accounts for a huge amount of wheat, 80% of sunflower oil, and I think Russia accounts for about 1/3 of barley production. It absolutely could be a play for agricultural dominance. The current spike in prices is going to have severe repercussions in the middle east, where wheat is a staple. Oh, and Russia is a big exporter of different fertilizers too, so you can expect corn and other fertilizer intensive planting to take a hit this year.

    China has been buying huge amounts of foodstuffs over the last few years, and Hungary has halted all exports of wheat. Food security is rapidly becoming a big concern for large parts of the world.

  7. Remember the U.S. shipping wheat to the USSR during the Cold War? We needn’t go that far back in time to see the U.S. was an agricultural powerhouse.
    Now we’re supporting Russia’s opponents in a shooting war, yet buying fertlizer and energy (and who knows what else) from Russia, and concerned about who controls the wheat production of that region because it is massive on the world stage. Why is this? Because American politicians.

    • Just a wee snapshot. Today drove a 406 mile loop through farmland in NE Colorado and the Nebraska panhandle. My estimate is only 1/4 of the acreage has been planted. Water is the main concern but outlook? My impressions is the farmers are hunkered down and will sit out this growing season. Many of the smaller town grain elevators are boarded up. At Gering, NE, the piles of sugar beets awaiting processing is the lowest I’ve seen at this time of year. This is a place I drove by three times a week for a few years. Most Mom and Pop restaurants are closed. Today paid $3.84 for gas in Gering and diesel was $4.12.

      Weld County CO is the third largest USA county for petroleum. I saw just one new rig working off Hwy 14. Water comes up with oil and is separated at the well. The water is hauled to one of two disposal sites where it is pumped a mile deep. On any give day in the past the water haulers were a constant sight. Today I saw three.

        • Glad I listened to my parent’s Tales of The Great Depression, and picked up some good habits from them.

          Got SLW onboard with canning and preserving, so I’ll be looking for canning supplies asap. We have a lot of farm stands here, and hopefully they’ll have some decent stuff the season.

          • While reading The Grapes of Wrath in High School, and learning of the Great Depression, I asked the question “Why would the government do the opposite of the rational approach, ruining everything?

            Because government is stupid and their answer to a problem they created is more social programs and higher taxes, and they count on people’s short memories.

            Today’s “activity” is because the current generation of leadership wants to destroy America. We should act accordingly.

  8. About Quicksink, using JDAM’s against ships.

    JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) combines a GPS device with steerable tailfins that bolt to the tail of a dumb bomb. It still has a glide ratio barely better than a brick but the greater the drop height, the farther it can steer itself to a designated, pre-programmed target.

    At least this is how my cousin, who helped write the JDAM software at Boeing 40 years ago, explained it to me.

    The linked story is vague on what the new “seeker” unit is. Does it help track a moving target?

    The story also suggests that “QUICKSINK appears to be an easier target for air defense systems”. A fighter can drop a few JDAM bombs, but a B-52 can drop dozens, much harder to defend against.

      • The new seeker helps track, and also sets up a new engagement profile, where the bomb aims for a “near miss”, and explodes next to / under the target ship’s hull, like an ADCAP Mk 48 torpedo. Much more damaging.


  9. Sigh… according to the Xiden admins, ANY ‘support’ to the Ukraine in the form of upgraded acft is de facto declaring war on Russia.

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